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Lingering

The warmth and colors of summer linger.

Summer's professional wardrobe.

Summer’s professional wardrobe. Fresh from the line. The clothes line, that is.

Kale salad. Inspired by Nancy W, who was inspired by Martha (THE Martha).

Kale salad with caramelized grapes and onions, walnuts, yams, and feta. Inspired by Nancy W, who was inspired by Martha (THE Martha).

The first tomato.

The first tomato. Indian Stripe. Perfection.

The last daylily.

The last daylily.

Labor Day weekend balloon festival.

Labor Day weekend balloon festival. Right over the gardenhood.

A mandala. Drawn by Nancy H. (One can never have too many Nancies in her life).

A mandala. Drawn by Nancy H. (One can never have too many Nancies in her life).

This drawing represents my spirit’s calling into a whole new realm of gardening. Assisting in the creation of sacred space. In lives. In landscapes. For Earth’s sake.

The lingering warmth and colors of summer calling me all the way home.

photo by Levi Chavez

photo by Levi Chavez

You know you’re a gardener when the caption to a photo on the AOL news roll says something about a naked woman in the pool, and all you notice are the black plastic pots and hand trowel in the lower left hand corner.

Can you tell a good “you know you’re a gardener” on yourself?

Reigning Scents

In the evening, neighbors with strollers and pups on leashes come round the flat corner lot drenched in perfume.

The honey locusts are blooming. Tiny, round, olive green flowers high in their lofty crowns so sweetly scented, I could swoon.

Closer to earth, the rugged iris have cheered onlookers for a couple of weeks. When I was a kid, one of my guilty pleasures was sticking a wet finger into Kool-Aid mixed with sugar and popping said finger back into my mouth. It’s a memory evoked by the scent of iris.

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Inside the chainlink fence, three varieties of tall, bearded iris share the throne: Iris varieagta with her golden swords and grapey perfume; “Pagan Goddess” peachy, prolific, and subtly scented; and an unnamed variety from Deb’s garden, streaked with rootbeer and smelling of vanilla.

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Even closer to the earth, a bouquet of cloven pinks flirts with the golden leaves of Cotinus. Sassy devils.

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While perched on the corner of the rock garden, the bluest penstemon reigns with a stately aura, wafting a soft tanginess somewhere between fresh mown hay and sorel. Hers I would wear dabbed behind ears and in the hollow of my elbows as I drift off to dreamland.

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There to dream of meeting someone as primitive, as sophisticated, and  as cleanly scented as a tree peony, but much less ephemeral.

Dandylions!

I haven’t even ten minutes to write. It’s Manic, I mean May.

I so wanted to do a post on one of my favorite flowers, but ran out of time to research.

Please, however, read this!

http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.it/2013/01/things-to-do-with-dandelions.html

Happy May

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Oh, and the best part: A predicted low tonight of 20 degrees.

Tea, anyone?

What a Ride

Tuesday’s stom was so fierce, even the dandelions, snug to the ground, were blackened.

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Roaring winds. Single digit lows. A mere spattering of snow. Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘The First’, filled with bees on Monday, could not bow down far enough.

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Tight-fisted buds on the Carol Mackie daphne, crisped. Hyacinths blasted.

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The front door tulips? Not likely this year.

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Then, yesterday, new signs. Rhubarb keeps on trying.

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Narcissus ‘Itzim’ and chionodoxia bloom together.

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And this morning, before sunrise, rain. Enough to leave puddles.

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Enough to leave a sip in the birdbath.

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I couldn’t wait to go out and smell the air. I threw on a hoodie over my pj’s and dug into the earth with bare fingers just to make sure it was real. Even in the driest part of the parking median, the earth was perfectly moist.

Birds are rioting.

The mourning doves have returned.

The front door tulips have been kissed. All is forgiven.

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What She’s Been Up To

I can only tell you what I’ve watched her do around here. That is, when she’s here, which is less and less, these days.

She makes me dizzy.

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She pulls the head of a very long snake, runs back to the house, turns a knob, and makes it rain at the head of the snake. Then, she runs back through the house (tracking in lots of stuff, let me tell you), drags another huge snake, turns another knob, and makes it rain there. This goes on and on. I have a very hard time keeping track of her.

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When she does sit down, it’s for a very short time. This morning she came out on the porch, turns to me, and says, “Well, Mr. Cat, we have purrzactly 10 minutes to drink this cup of coffee. So, if you want some lap time, you better come on up.” I thought about it for a while, thinking maybe she was kidding, maybe she’d settle in, and I could knead her thigh.

No such luck.

A buzzery bell went off, and so did she.

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Yesterday, she walked all over the place with a big, broom-looking thing, sweeping the grass. The floor in the house is dirty, and she sweeps the grass. Then she’d pick up the piles she made (before I even got a chance to check them out), and tossed them in the back of her truck. I followed her out there, too, but she always tells me to stay away from trucks and cars and the street.

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Then she took a little broom and did the same thing to the place where all the prickery things grow. One of the prickery things bit her. She said the plant was an agave, and it was just protecting her pups.

whisking the rock garden

agave bite

What? That’s the craziest thing I’ve heard since the time she said tulips come from turkeys. Really?

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Where she goes the rest of the time, I don’t know. By the smells on her knees and shoes, though, I’d say she’s up to more of the same, where ever she is.

One day, when it was kind of cold outside, she stayed inside and worked here, where I’m sending you this message. I’d sit and stare at her to get her to feed me or let me outside. “What is it, Ed?” she’d say. “Can’t you see I’m bizzy? I have to get this done for a talk I’m giving next Wednesday.”

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Picture1

Whatever.

I tried stting in her lap when she’s like this, but something just doesn’t feel right.

I’ve heard you gardener types just can’t wait for spring. Must be true. There’s sure no waiting going on around here.

Can anyone out there tell me what she’s really been up to?

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